Face Your Fear
If there's a specific activity like public speaking that always makes you break into a cold sweat, try a technique used by cognitive-behavioral therapists: First do something similar but less frightening (making a toast each night at dinner), then gradually move your way through more nerve-racking occasions (giving a toast at a wedding, guest-teaching a class).

"Your fear diminishes with each step," says Martin Antony, PhD, professor of psychology at Ryerson University in Ontario, so by the time you get to the original alarming activity, it will feel less overwhelming. It helps to progress quickly through the list and practice as frequently as possible, he adds: Research shows that this is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety.